Weight Watchers Hoisin Steak Stir-Fry

Skimming through the Weight Watchers Good Deal cookbook for dinner ideas, there was a particular Asian flare dish that really caught my attention. I’m thinking it was primarily due to the fact it was a beef stir fry. I decided it had to be on the dinner menu, so I put the few items I needed to pick up at the grocery store on my shopping list … and dinner was on its way to being created.
I followed the recipe to a T and found it to be rather easy to whip together. Dinner came together in under 30 minutes which was also a bonus.  The beef turned out rather moist, the sauce was just right and the vegetables were perfect – cooked but still had some crunch to them.  The recipe actually calls for the serving of brown rice which I liked to see because most recipes call for one dish, not the accompanying sides. In addition to the rice, I served this alongside some fresh steamed broccoli.
The greatest part? The entire meal was only 6 points plus values! ¾ cup of beef mixture and ½ cup rice.

Weight Watchers Ginger-Lime Bundt Cake

When I had picked up the new Weight Watchers Good Deal cookbook at my local Weight Watchers meeting, I had marked off a number of recipes that I wanted to try. One of the desserts I marked off to make was the Ginger-Lime Bundt Cake.  Since I had made another recipe which used lime and ginger, I had those two main ingredients on hand … so as a stress reliever one night I decided to bake and whip up a delicious specialty.
Prepping the cake took truly not much time at all.  I followed all directions as listed and baked my cake for the full 45 minutes. I was left with delicious perfection. My end result didn’t quite resemble the photograph in the book (the top of my cake puffed out and cracked a bit) instead of it being flat on top.
After my cake cooled, I drizzled the glaze over it and within 5 minutes it had set. The cake was definitely far moister the same day it was baked, whereas it was good, but a little drier the days following. Taste wise the cake is pretty delicious – it’s got a citrusy vanilla flavor to it and the ginger plays off perfectly with the other flavors without being overwhelming. I do have to say, when I saw the serving size I felt I would be a little jipped … but the cake is undoubtedly a dense, filling cake. It’s very reminiscent of a pound cake.
The cake itself serves 20 people and each slice is 181 calories or 5 points plus values. Well worth it, in my opinion!

Chicken Taco (Crock Pot)


A couple weeks ago I popped into Subway for lunch and noticed they had a new sandwich on the menu – a Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. I ordered my typical black forest ham sandwich, but my mother ordered the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. Upon sitting down to eat out lunch she gave me a small piece to try … and I my taste buds were thoroughly amazed. So amazed that I wanted to try to recreate the dish at home in a way that was “point friendly” for me.
I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be exact … but if I could come close, it’d be a success.  And I have to say, it was pretty darn successful! I used taco seasoning and ranch seasoning over fajita seasoning. The meat mixture was flavorful and was perfect in a sandwich while the next day it was perfect over salad.
The closest I could come to Subway’s flat bread was to use Flatout Foldit’s. My local grocery store only had Flatout’s everything flavor in stock, so that’s what I used.  I picked up a bag of Frito’s and added just a few to my sandwich.  Whereas in classic Subway fashion, I chose to use my own toppings: pepper jack cheese lettuce and tomato.
Serves 8. 4 Points Plus Values. 2/3 cup serving.
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds raw boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
  • 1 medium uncooked onion, sliced
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) uncooked bell peppers, sliced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1 cup Chi Chi’s Salsa, medium
Add onions and peppers to the bottom of a crock pot. Place the chicken breast over the vegetables. Sprinkle with steak seasoning, garlic powder, taco seasoning and ranch dressing seasoning. Top with salsa – cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
After about an hour of cooking stir together all ingredients and allow cooking down together.
When the dish is done, turn off the crock pot and remove the chicken from the pot. Place chicken on a plate and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir to combine with the vegetables and sauce.
Allow to cool for roughly 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a tad before serving.

Cauliflower Pizza


I have heard so much about cauliflower pizza but was always a little skeptical. The typical gist when it first became an internet sensation was that the crust wasn’t crunchy enough. So I waited … and I finally found a recipe that I decided I’d give a try.  I changed up the recipe just a tad because I used what I had on hand and seasoned it a bit more with what I liked.
For the most part I followed the general recipeexcept I used reduced fat parmesan and did my own blend of spices within the pizza crust.
The most tedious part of this pizza was cutting up the cauliflower and pulverizing it in the food processor. Then again, I have a little peanut of a food processor so I had to do small little handfuls at a time. But once that was done, it was easy-peasy. Cooking the cauliflower in the microwave and straining the water out of it was simple. Although I will say, trying to get little rice size bits of cauliflower off a white kitchen towel was an interesting feat.  The greatest part?
The ENTIRE crust alone was only 8 points plus values! If the serving is cut down into 2, half the crust is 4 points plus values. Quite a drop in stats considering the calories/Weight Watchers points plus associated with pizza crust!  Here’s how I doctored my crust up a bit:
Ingredients:
          ¼ cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
          ¼ cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
          1 egg, beaten
          1 small head uncooked cauliflower
          ½ tsp salt
          ½ tsp black pepper
          1 ½ tsp garlic powder
          1 tsp oregano
          ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
When the crust was done I decided to top the pizza with ½ cup Barilla traditional spaghetti sauce (because it’s what I had on hand), 1/3 cup Kraft fat free mozzarella, 6 slices of Hormel turkey pepperoni, a few slices onions and peppers and some banana pepper rings. I returned the pizza to the oven just for the cheese to melt and when done, I cut it up to serve.
After all the toppings my entire pizza was 11 points plus values! Quite a steal considering 1 slice of your average take-out pizza is 7 points plus values.
Final verdict? The pizza was quite good … the crust wasn’t as crispy and crunchy as regular pizza crust and you could definitely tell it was cauliflower but it wasn’t bad.  Would I make it again? Sure, thing.

Broccoli Garlic Alfredo


Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo is one of those dishes that goes down in the books as one of the best pasta dishes. Granted, the best doesn’t always mean it’s the healthiest for you … unless you decide to make it at home in a lighter fashion. I sometimes keep Ragu’s Light Alfredo sauce in the cabinet for days when I want to throw something together quick without any further thought.  Although for this dish I decided to try out an Alfredo recipe which was available on the Laughing Cow website (see here).
As with most recipes, I did change up the Alfredo recipe just a tad, opting to increase the milk just a bit, skipped on the butter, used their garlic & herb Laughing Cow Cheese and seasoned the sauce up a little differently.  The end result was completely delicious – filling and low in points.
I didn’t have any grilled chicken on hand, so I put some frozen chicken straws in the oven to toast up and topped my pasta with 2 of those, sliced up. The added chicken will increase the points plus of the recipe – in my case the 2 chicken straws were 2 points plus values.
Serves 2. 6 Points Plus/serving.
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Al Dente Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles
  • 3 Light Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Garlic & Herb Flavor
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli
  • 1 tsp black pepper, (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
In a medium pan bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling add in the Carba-Nada pasta and cook until done.
Steam broccoli in the microwave with 2 tbsp of water or use microwavable frozen broccoli.
In a sauce pan, place cheese wedges, milk, parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Over medium heat gently cook together the sauce until the cheese wedges melt and the sauce thickens. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning.
Drain pasta and return back to the pan, toss with cooked broccoli and gently fold in the Alfredo sauce.
Equally divide the pasta into two dishes.
If wanted, top with your choice of chicken.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spice Cake


Spice cake is one of my favorite desserts to whip up when I’m in the mood for something tasty, mildly sweet and just all around delicious. I knew I had all the ingredients I needed to whip something together, so I made my way into the kitchen and let the creativity flow.
The cake itself always comes out super moist and delicious. I add a pinch of baking soda to my cake mixes that don’t use water/oil/eggs because it helps make the dessert just slightly fluffier. The chocolate peanut butter chips definitely added a peanut buttery chocolaty goodness to the cake that made it decadent. I shared it with family and friends who came by and everyone was equally pleased with it. The next day, after the cake was fully cooled I found it was perfect to warm it in the microwave for a few seconds and top it with a smidgen of butter. Perfect combination and it made it a great snack/dessert.
You could totally make these into muffins if you prefer them portioned out that way … but I personally made it into a Bundt pan because it was faster and it looks pretty.
Serves 12. 4 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 26 gm, Nestle Toll House Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven per box directions.
In a medium bowl mix together spice cake mix, canned pumpkin, egg whites, baking soda and water. Blend until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Spray a bundt pan or muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, spoon cake batter into the mild.
Gently tap cake against a flat surface to eliminate any air bubbles.
Bake in an oven per box directions. Cake is done when a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.

Banana Oatmeal

This is undoubtedly my favorite breakfast at the moment: Banana Oatmeal which is cooked in 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. It’s delicious, it’s plentiful and it truly keeps me satisfied all morning. I enjoy oatmeal, but before this, I truthfully never ate it very often. I include oatmeal in baked goods and I love it in overnight oats, but when it comes to eating oatmeal for breakfast, I would typically reach for a pack of instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is quick and easy, but I’ve found it’s usually not filling enough for me and it is a points plus “hog”.

A friend of mine and a fellow Instagrammer posted her favorite way to have oatmeal. I noticed the post, was intrigued and decided to give it a try one day. One morning when it started to snow, I decided the breakfast I planned for the day before wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something warm and homey … so I gave the oatmeal a shot and have been obsessed/hooked since. It is filling, it’s thick, it’s reminiscent of banana bread, and it’s without doubt one of the easiest things to throw together. I truly crave this oatmeal … and that fact alone is astounding.
The greatest part? Its super low in points plus values! If mixing it with skim milk, it’s 3 points plus, if you mix it with unsweetened almond milk it’s only 2 points plus values. It’s low in point yet highly satisfying and delicious.
  • 1/3 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use vanilla)
  • Banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener packet (optional)
Slice a banana into a bowl, top it with oatmeal, cinnamon and almond milk. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir, and then place back into the microwave and heat for an additional 1 minute 15 seconds.
Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Chipotle Chorizo Sauce

I purchased a package of Al Fresco Chipotle Chorizo chicken sausage (see here) at the grocery store. I’ve honestly never tried chipotle chorizo sausage in the past, but I’ve heard it’s a great flavorful meat selection. Al Fresco makes a line of one of my favorite chicken sausages, so I decided to give it a whirl.  The chipotle chorizo sausage actually is mixed with mango and adobo. Taking it out of the freezer I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it or how I was going to serve it.  After some thinking I decided on making a simple little sauce to serve with spaghetti squash and pasta.
The sauce was perfect. The sausage brought a level of heat to the dish which was unique and delicious.  Those with a blander palette may not enjoy this dish, but if you’re a fan of a bit of heat this may be right up your alley.
I served mine over spaghetti squash, which I topped with some fat free mozzarella. It was perfect, spicy and filling!
Serves 4. 5 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (4 links) Al Fresco All Natural Chipotle Chorizo Chicken Sausage, sliced
  • 26 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
In a large non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, over medium high heat add in sliced sausages and cook on both sides until crisped.
Once sausage is browned, place in a bowl and set aside.  Add onions, garlic and peppers to the pan. Season vegetables with black pepper, salt, garlic, oregano and Cajun seasoning. Cook until onions are slightly translucent and peppers are a bold green shade (the onions should be softer, but the peppers slightly crunchy).
Add sausage and any juices into the pan then add in canned tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Wendy’s Frosty Alternative

This is the end result of what I call “Facebook made me do it.”
Browsing Facebook I saw a friend posted a Frosty alternative recipe. Going over the recipe I was intrigued but decided I was going to make it with a few tweaks to make it more my “style” if you will. The original recipe had really no sweetness to it (as told by the ingredients and those who tried the recipe comments).  I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it as it was originally, so I opted to tweak it a bit. I have to say, the end result came out pretty well. It’s not an exact Wendy’s frosty replica, but it’s a healthier alternative. The only thing missing was my small fry on the side.
I didn’t go into making this expect it to be creamy and smooth. It’s got the classic frosty flavor, with a hunt of banana in the background, but texture wise it’s icier (to be expected) but nonetheless it was an enjoyable treat.
Serves 1. 1 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1 packet Equal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 ice cubes
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and ice is all chopped up.
Serve in your favorite glass.

Taco Junk

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Ahh, Taco Junk! I never knew how amazing this dish was until I finally gave it a try. I’ve tried trashy taco soup in the past, but that was soup and not like “taco mix”. I stumbled upon this thanks to Pinterest. There was a picture pinned of canned food items lined up alongside taco and ranch seasoning, so I clicked on it because I was curious.  And I’m glad I did.
Not only is this dish exceptionally easy to whip together, but it’s cooked in the crock pot and the end result is utterly delicious. So delicious that I’ve been asked on multiple occasions (in a week’s time frame) as to when I was going to make it again.  It’s that good; that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on this upcoming week’s dinner menu.
The original recipe has all canned ingredients being used with your choice of either ground beef or turkey, but I switched it up just a little bit as I do with all my cooking.  I added in onion and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning, opted for frozen fire roasted corn and decided to not use the salsa that was listed in a few recipes.  The end result was a nicely thickened taco mixture, which as it sat away from heat got thicker and even more delicious. Definitely a winner for all taco lovers alike!
Serves 13. 3 Points Plus. ½ cup serving size.
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 14 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fire roasted corn (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
In a non-stick skillet combine onion, ground turkey and Montreal steak seasoning and cook together until browned and no longer pink.
Transfer meat and onion mixture to a crock pot. Add in taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, drained and rinsed beans, canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn.  Roughly 2 hours in give everything a gentle stir to get everything nicely incorporated.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
Serve immediately or allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to thicken up slightly.